Why aren't seat belts required on school buses?  
  Answer: Passengers on school buses are exempt from seat belt requirements. (MCL 257.710e)

School buses provide one of the safest forms of transportation because of their design and construction. School buses utilize compartmentalization in rows of heavily padded, high-back seats. During crashes, seat belts would negate compartmentalization. It is also feared that some students would receive internal injuries from seat belts through a process called submarining, the tendency for a body to slide downwards during impact.

Seat belts on school buses may also hamper rescue or evacuation efforts, as adults or older students may have to spend precious minutes unbuckling young or disoriented passengers. Unruly students could also use the heavy buckles as makeshift weapons, creating even more of a safety hazard. There is also the argument that seat belts would only protect passengers of school buses during unusual events such as roll-overs, but not other possible events such as fires or submersion.

For more information about school bus safety, visit the Michigan Department of Education Web site.